ITE Journal - May 2020 - 35

Rådhusgata - ETTER

Another big shift for the City of Oslo was closing some streets
to car traffic, either at peak pedestrian and bicyclist times, or
permanently. The city also looked at streets with high pedestrian
and bicycle crashes in the selection of converting car streets to
people streets. Oslo quickly found that separating vulnerable road
users from car traffic would be an effective road design priority
toward achieving zero. While some of Oslo's achieving zero
pedestrian and bicycling fatalities in 2019 is circumstance, a major
factor was prioritizing safety across the city.
Every time a fatal crash happens, an accident analysis investigation is conducted by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration,
with input from the police investigation, where they look at factors
that contributed to the crash and its severity. Such investigation
reports in Norway regularly include recommendations for road
improvements, both at the crash site, and general improvements to
prevent similar crashes elsewhere. The accident analysis investigation reports also provide recommendations to ensure similar crashes
are avoided on similar roads. For example, a single fatal cyclist crash
in 2018 led to the redesign of four bus stops, four intersections, and
widened bike lanes over a distance of 1 km that included signal
timing and separated junctions for cyclists at similar intersections to

City of Oslo, Norway

Google Streetview

Rådhusgata - FØR

City of Oslo, Norway

bus lanes, restricting traffic on light rail corridors, and installing
bicycle lanes in lieu of on-street parking on high mode split streets,
and where increased transit and bicycle riding was needed and
encouraged. Formerly, the city had to apply to the police or the
national road authority to install bike lanes, bus lanes or close
streets to traffic, often through formal planning proposals involving
consultations and hearings, often delaying projects for years. With
the authority to place traffic control signs and markings, the city
can now implement such measures in a matter of weeks. This
change has helped the city increase the rate of bike lane implementation ten-fold, from an average of 1.5 km (1 mile) per year, to more
than 15 km (9 miles) in 2019.
Another driver in reducing roadway fatalities in the City of Oslo
is a goal set by the city government in 2015 to reduce car traffic by
one third by 2030. To reach this goal, the city has implemented a
congestion charge, increased the number of road toll gates, and
increased the tolls. While data indicate traffic has started falling,
the main takeaway of this goal so far is not reduced traffic. Instead,
it is that many measures can now be implemented even if they cause
congestion or delays to car traffic. This has enabled more bus lanes,
bike lanes, and speed humps to be installed quickly.

Figure 4. Rådhusgata in Oslo, Norway, shown in May 2017 Google
Imagery, which carried 9000 cars per day through the city centre. City
centre was closed to through traffic in 2018, Rådhusgata was made a
one way street, and Oslo's signature red bike lanes were installed. Now, it
is used by up to 2,000 cyclists and 4,000 pedestrians per day.

Figure 5. This treatment removed parking on one side of the side street
and established a protective island. The treatment allows cyclists to go
straight, while motor vehicles are restricted to a turning radius of about 40
feet. Together with an advanced stop line, this protects both cyclists going
straight on the main street, and pedestrians crossing the side street. Note
that drivers who are turning are required by law to yield to cyclists on the
bike lane, and pedestrians in the crosswalk regardless of signals.
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May 2020

35


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